Castaway Films

Friday, December 23, 2011

Castaway Films Returns to Bolivian Amazon

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We are recently returned from a film project in the Bolivian Amazon. Special thanks to Cano Negro lodge as well as our sponsors, Sage, Nautilus Reels, Smith Optics, Simms, Buff, Rio, and E.P. Flies. Look for the story in Fly Rod & Reel as well as details on the film soon....

Devil's Gold, Amirante Tails & Vela Featured in IF4

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"Amirante Tails" featured in Catch Magazine

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"Seychelles Island Paradise"10&2 Cover Story

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Air Seychelles Official Sponsor

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It is not every day that a company outside of the fly fishing industry will sponsor an independent film project. Air Seychelles is one such company. There are many carriers to the Seychelles Islands, but NONE who care more about these islands and fly fishing than Air Seychelles. The next time you are heading to the Indian Ocean, we endorse this company, and whole heatedly request that you fly with them. It would not have been possible to get all of our production equipment on location without them. Thank you!

Here is more information when booking your next flight

USA and Canada Office
Aviareps AG
1 Penn Plaza
Suite 1416
New York, NY 10119
United States
Tel: +1 - 877 359 7392
Email: info-us@airseychelles.com
Website: www.airseychelles.com

France Office
Air Seychelles Ltd
11 rue du Colisée
75008 Paris
Tel: +33 - 1 42 89 86 83
Fax: +33 - 1 45 63 85 12
Email: info-fr@airseychelles.com / parisoffice@airseychelles.com
Website: www.airseychelles.fr
Contact Person: Gilles Gosselin- Manager France
Contact Number: +33-1 42 89 8307/ 85 33; / ; +33-608 965811


United Kingdom
Aviareps House
Gatwick Road
Crawley
West Sussex rh10 9rb
Tel: +44 - 1293 596 655
Fax: +44 - 1293 596 658
Email: info-uk@airseychelles.com / airseychelles@aviareps-group.com
Website: www.airseychelles.co.uk
Contact Person: Sarah Gilmore- Reservations department
Contact Number: +44-1293 596 656



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Thank you to Corinne Coupey-Faberes, Gilles Gosselin, Josie Michaud-Payet, Philippe Bourges, Monica Ramchandani, Leonie Naylor, Sharen Venus, and others for your work in our behalf. It is appreicated.

Exploration of the African Banks, Seychelles

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For the past decade (twelve years actually) I have wanted to visit the Indian Ocean to fish and explore the Seychelles. From the consistency of Alponse, to the excitement of far off Farquhar and Cosmeledo, I have wanted to walk these flats and chase Giant Trevally. Back in 2002, I didn't have the resources or time to fish the Seychelles so my family and I opted for the much closer, yet still remote, Midway Atoll. The island was rich in history and had a decent population of ULUA (AKA GTs). It was there that I did battle with my first GT's. Unfortunately, the trip was not all that it could have been. A massive tropical depression sat on us for the entire week, and we were unable to get out of the harbour. We had plans, at that time, to fish KURE Atoll (the Western most island in the Hawaiian Chain), but the swells were over 25 feet and passage was impossible. Ever since that trip, I have looked for reasons to return somewhere, anywhere, that held the species. In 2004, my good wife and booked a trip to Tonga in hopes of another brush with "The King of Jacks." Unfortunately, another tropical depression hit us in Tonga and the fishing in Vava'u followed suit.

In the past six years life got a busy, other species beckoned, and I forgot of that mighty gamefish. That was of course until August of 2009 when we were on location in the Bolivian Amazon filming Devil's Gold. One night over dinner our friend Joaquin mentioned that Untamed Angling had just acquired a property on Desroche Island in the Amirantes. Long story short, after the acquisition of Desroches, Untamed Angling branched out and developed the fishery on St. Joseph's Atoll and Poivre Island (Google Satalight images below). During the process they have started to explore the African Banks. A new lodge will be developed on Remire, or Eagle Island which is easy striking distance from the reef system. While little is known about the Aftrican Banks, the first exploratory trip was mind blowing. They caught tons of bones, permit, random reef species and big GTs. It was so good, in fact, that Castaway Films was invited for a project. The film will focus on the exploration of a remote corner of the Seychelles.

I very much am looking forward to fishing for GTs with Marcelo, Rodrigo, and Joaquin in the African Banks. Our two week film project will be in production the last two weeks of January 2011. The majority of the footage will come from the African Banks, but four days will be spent on St. Joseph and Poivre.

We very much appreciate the sponsors of this project who's generosity make fly fishing films a reality. Thank you to Air Seychelles, Sage, Smith Optics, Nautilus Reels, YO-ZURI, and Osprey. More sponsors to follow (please see details below)

Check back soon for more details about the project...


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Above is St. Joseph's Atoll. The expansive flats are loaded with bones and the central lagoon will be fantastic for inshore bruisers, like GTs, Milkies, Cuda, etc..

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Not a great shot of the African Banks, but it is the best available on Google. The Eastern facing reef, I'm sure is a place where we will loose many flies and fly lines. Per preliminary reports, there is a northern beach where 80+ pound GTs have been landed on the fly. Accommodations will be on Eagle/Remire Island (bottom left).



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Poivre, is a classic haunt for Bones and Permit. The island has no central lagoon and is not an Atoll. That white sand looks perfect for wading...

Reports to follow...


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Sage Official Sponsor

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Castaway Films is very pleased to be working with Sage Fly Rods. Sage sponsored our first projects in Los Roques and Bristol Bay, and has been by our side many times since.

We are huge fans of the new TCX rods. If you check out our film Devil's Gold, you'll notice the beautiful lime green rods that were exclusively used on location in Bolivia. These things cast a mile, but at the same time have a soft touch. I have no idea how they do it!

My six is perfect for big trout, the eight is my rod of choice for bones, and the ten will be our primary carry rod for Indo Pacific Permit on the Seychelles Flats. We are also excited to be armed with the Xi3 in 12 and 13 for GTs, Milkies, and big Cudas and will be bringing along our14 weight Xi3's for Dogs, Sailfish, etc.. We firmly believe that Sage creates the finest fly rods on the plant PERIOD.

Thanks to Eric Gewiss, Kara Armano, and Marc Bale for your kind support.

Sage Manufacturing
8500 Northeast Day Road
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
USA
(800) 533-3004
www.Sageflyfish.com

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Check out these beauties...

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We had no problem turning over these Glimmer minnows and 40 wire leaders with our 8 weight TCXs in Bolivia. While we enjoyed the TCR in Patagonia, we much prefer the new iteration of the performance TCX


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Ryan (middle) and Grant (Right) with TCX 890-4 rods and a few nice PACUs

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Ryan showing off a twist of lime as he hooks a PACU

Smith Optics Official Sponsor

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Sponsors come and go, but Peter Crow and Smith Optics have been with Castaway Films since the very beginning and on EACH AND EVERY PROJECT SINCE. Back in the day, the glasses were called Action Optics. They now stick with the slick brand of the parent company Smith Optics. We are huge fans of the copper lenses and feel that no other polarizing glass is better on the flats, rivers, or lakes.

During the Seychelles project, we will be wearing the Backdrop in the Polarchromic copper lenses with Mahogany frames as well as the Precept with Polarchromic copper lenses and black frames. Not to deviate from perfection, but we are also going to try out the new Precept EVOLVE with Polarchromic Ignitor lenses and matte tortoise frames. Peter is a big fan of the new lens so we are excited for it to be a part of the project.

The EVOLVE series is way cool GREEN product line. This is what Smith Optics is saying:

"For over 40 years Smith has been a steward of the outdoors. Great days in the water, dirt, and snow are made better when we protect the environment as well. By utilizing a new material called Rilsan® Clear, we are creating lightweight, durable, and fully transparent sunglass frames that are over 53% bio-based.

Created from easily renewable, non-genetically modified castor plants, the Rilsan® Clear material frame is combined with FSC certified packaging and a coconut fiber storage bag. Not to be forgotten, each logo plaque is ‘finished’ with a clear water-based protective coating. The end result is a fully considered sunglass and a clearer conscience."

We'll let you know how the Ignitor works out....

Smith Optics, INC.
280 Northwood Way
Box 2999
Ketchum, ID, 83340
208.726.4477
Smith@SmithOptics.com
www.SmithOptics.com

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Precept EVOLVE Polarchromic Ignitor lens and matte tortoise frame


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Backdrop Polarchromic Copper lens with Mahogany frame

Nautilus Reels Official Sponsor

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Aquatech Official Sponsor

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Osprey Official Sponsor

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Vela" Project featured in MidCurrent


Thanks to Marshall and the good folks over at MidCurrent for making Vela the featured video of the week. Check out the write up from the newsletter by clicking on the screenshot above.

Check us out on YouTube

Castaway Films just created a new channel on YouTube. Click Here or check us out at:

http://www.youtube.com/castawayfilms

On YouTube, you will be able to view some of our other films including Devil's Gold, Equilibrium, etc..



Friday, September 17, 2010

Vela in the Angling Report

The Angling Report
October 2010

Fly fishing for blue water species – billfish in particular – is one of those activities that could, and should, have more support. Think about it for a moment. Big, high-jumping fish are involved. Interesting tackle is involved. And, above all, the activity at its best involves casting to sighted fish. What’s not to like here?

The answer’s pretty simple: Many of the boat captains involved in blue water fly fishing secretly don’t like fly fishing. They don’t like the lowered success rate, for one thing. And they also just don’t like dealing with fly rods and piles of unruly fly lines. The increased messiness of fly fishing appears to challenge their total command of the cockpit.

I say all this based on my experience on one big game fly fishing outing in Guatemala with one blue water captain. So, maybe, I over-generalize. All I know is, the experience was so negative I vowed to never do that kind of fishing again. The captain, I still recall, fairly screamed at me when I tried to cast to a raised sail- fish. "What are you doing?" he yelled. "Just let the line go out. The fish will see your fly. We’ll have him in place in a moment!"

The activity, to me, looked pointless. A stunt at best. And the screaming...? Well, I don’t like anyone to scream at me. Ever. For any reason.

Fast forward to a short video Scott Ruprecht of Sportfishing Worldwide (Tel. 800-638-7405. Web: www.sfww.com) just sent me. It depicts anglers at his Sailfish Bay Lodge in Guatemala casting for raised sailfish and generally enjoying themselves greatly. You can take a look at the video yourself by clicking on: Project Vela from Castaway Films. The excitement of the anglers in the video is almost palpable. Indeed, this is what I originally envisioned saltwater billfishing to be all about.

I immediately rang up Ruprecht and told him about my previous experience in Guatemala and my resultant burn-out on the sport of blue water billfishing. Ruprecht said he understood entirely. He said the widespread nature of the behavior I encountered at another lodge was one of the things he had taken into account when he decided to emphasize fly fishing at Sailfish Bay. He said he suspected there was pent-up demand for the real thing.

Ruprecht says all of his captains at Sailfish Bay have standing orders to encourage fly fishing clients to cast.... and cast... and cast to raised fish. They are specifically forbidden to yell at their clients or discourage them from casting. Moreover, he says he has told all his captains to find out which hand all fishing clients favor (right hand or left hand) so he can decide on which side of the boat teasers will be trolled. No teasers at all are trolled on the right-hand side of the boat when a right-handed client is on deck, the opposite is true when a left- handed client is on deck. The procedure insures that teased fish will approach the boat at something like a 45 degree angle to clients who are always positioned on the opposite side of the boat. Casts are almost crosswise to the back of the boat, he says.

Ruprecht admits that he still occasionally has trouble with captains backsliding because the use of teasers on only one side of the boat reduces the number of fish raised. And, among those raised, the number of fish that are hooked and landed is only about one in three or four. Experienced fly anglers can reduce those odds some- what. Still, the bottomline difference between the success rate of conventional fishermen versus a fly fishermen is huge. The payoff is a large increase in fly angler loyalty and enjoyment. All anglers, he quickly added, are free to modify his teaser policy and cockpit procedure to suit their own desires.

Indeed, this is an interesting development. Has anyone fly fished at Sailfish Bay or another blue water fly fishing facility that does things right? We’ d love to get some on-site feedback on this subject. Who knows, I may rethink my antipathy toward blue water billfishing. Subscribers send your feedback to: Don Causey

The Angling Report

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Project "Vela" at Sailfish Bay Lodge

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The Vela project was filmed exclusively at Sailfish Bay Lodge on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. We can't find enough good things to say about the accommodations, fishery, and the owner Scott Ruprecht. Scott, we deeply appreciate all of your efforts and personal sacrifice to make Vela a reality. We could not have done this without you. Thank you for your support and friendship!

A more comprehensive "behind the scenes" post will be coming soon, but in the interim here are a few details...

Quick Facts:
Project Name: "Vela" (Short for Pez Vela or Sailfish in Spanish)
Location: Pacific Coast of Guatemala
Publication: Catch Magazine July 2010
Length: 3 minutes 10 seconds Instrumental
Lodge Sponsor: Sailfish Bay Lodge
Clothing Sponsor: Simms Fishing Products
Sunglass Sponsor: Smith Optics
Flyline Sponsor: Rio Products
Underwater Still Housing Sponsor: Aquatech Underwater Imaging
Fly Box Sponsor: Cliff Outdoors
Video Underwater Housing Sponsor: Equinox by Soupcan
Time of Year: April 2010

Trout Unlimited's ASSUME

Thank you to Trout Unlimited for the continued fight against Pebble Mine. We applaud your efforts. Check out shots from our Equilibrium project in the "Assume" and "It's Okay" clips. These commercials are airing on Alaskan TV to get the word out there to the voters.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Trout Unlimited Alaska "It's Okay"



Trout Unlimited Alaska continues the Good Fight against Pebble Mine. Footage from Equilibrium, The Last Frontier is featured.

Friday, March 19, 2010

AquaTech Heading with us to Guatemala

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Every once in a long while a new product comes along that revolutionizes still photography as we know it. AquaTech, a well established surf housing company, has created the perfect tools for skinny water dSLR shooters. We have worked exclusively with Aquatech for ALL of our still photography underwater imaging for the past three years and look forward to continue working with them in Guatemala and our coming shoots for the 2010-11 season. Rest assured there will be many more underwater shots coming your way. Whether you are a CANON or nikon shooter (lower case intentional), AquaTech has the perfect housing/port to elevate your art.

Click here to find out more about Alan Love's Fantastic products!

Our favorite thing about using the Aquatech sytsem has been the over under shot that we have published in our Bolivia, Australia, Patagonia, and Mexico Shoots. Check our out shots in Pic of the day in Wild on the Fly for tech specs or some examples in the photo journal section. See the entries below for the direct links...

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sailfish Bay Pre-Production with Daniel Goz

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Every project that we are involved with has three phases: Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production. To put it simply, Pre-Production involves the planning, Production is the "On Location" shoot, and Post-Production is the editing, writing, publishing, etc. Obviously, while being "On Location" is the point of what we do, the Pre-Production planning is a close second. We absolutely love getting ready for each and every one of our shoots. Everything from getting the equipment ready, to writing a tentative script, to speaking with industry experts with previous experience is part of the fun.

The other day, while contemplating the underwater filming for the project, I came across a fantastic underwater image of a Marlin shot by Daniel Goz at WildOnTheFly.com. Wanting to find out more I visited his website and realized that Daniel is an expert in underwater pelagic photography. Long story short, contact was made, and he was kind enough to give me a call from Germany to discuss the project. His insight was really eye opening and now we feel so much better prepared thanks to his sage advice. Without question, the shoot will be better because of him.

We are going to have to hook up with Daniel in the future and join him on one of his epic DIY adventures....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Castaway Teams up with Equinox Housings

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Castaway Films is pleased to announce a new partnership with Equinox Underwater Housings. Equinox is the preeminent producer of customizable video housings for the professional filmmaker. We'll have you know that Equinox is the only video housing manufacturer on the planet who actively supports and sponsors fly fishing films. Owner, Ed Richards, and director of sales, Erik Giannunio, are keen innovators who will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the upcoming Sailfish Bay Lodge Project.


Last month, Castaway Films approached the Equinox Team with an idea for our billfish shoot. One of the principle goals for the forthcoming project is to film sailfish eating flies underwater. To our knowledge this type of footage has never been captured. Can you imagine watching a lit up 130 pound Pacific Sail tear into a footlong electric pink fly? The image would be fantastic, but the logistics of such a shot have been limiting. Without question a subsurface camera operator would spook the fish before the take could occur and the opportunity would be lost.


So what is the work around?


We presented this difficult shooting scenario to Equinox and they have come up with an excellent solution: the pole mounted underwater housing system. Equinox has developed a way for filmmakers to attach a pole to an underwater housing so that remote subsurface footage may be obtained from the comfort of the deck of the boat. So that the camera operator is not shooting blind, a waterproof cord will run from the video housing to a topside monitor. The inconspicuous system is much less likely to be noticed by the sailfish and thus greatly increases our chance for success. Of course, the true test will come in Guatemala, but I'd bet that we're going to get the shot with the Equinox Poll Mount System. We will be sure to show "in-the-field" photos of this setup on our blog in the future.


Again, thanks to Ed and Erik over at Equinox for creating a product that is PERFECT for fly fishing filmmakers. We invite amateurs and professionals alike to check out www.equinoxhousings.com or call 888.438.8943 to find out more.



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Monday, February 22, 2010

Wiswell named Assoc. Editor of Wild on the Fly

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Castaway's Grant Wiswell was just named the new Associate Editor of Wild on The Fly. We look forward to working with Joe Daniel and this irreverent magazine. Look for new articles coming your way from Castaway Films in WOTF and other fine publications.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

PROJECT: Chime Lodge, Patagonia

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We are just back from a trip to Chime Lodge in the Argentine Patagonia. Check back soon for a photo journal from the trip. In the mean time click on the photo above to visit ChimeLodge.com

Palometa Club Photo Essay

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Wild on the Fly: Pic of the Day

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Devil's Gold Project: Behind the Scenes

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Project: Devil's Gold

Film: Castaway Films teamed up with Untamed Angling to create the short film Devil's Gold. The format is a bit different from our last project Equilibrium, The Last Frontier. Somehow I feel as if the visual and acoustic beauty of people and place are often lost in words. As such, this seven-minute short film is strictly instrumental. My goal for Devil's Gold was to tell a story through picture and music and let the viewing anglers fill in the pieces. My narration, as it were, can be found in the American Angler article. Thanks to Brian O'Keefe and Todd Moen for publishing the short film in Catch Magazine.

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Article: The Devil's Gold article is a 2,600-word piece that focuses on "a day in the life" of an angler on the Itirisama River. It was released in American Angler on the 28th of December, 2009, and will be on the stands until March. To see the cover of the article, go to the first image in the Portfolio section of our website. Thanks to Steve Walburn and Russ Lumpkin for publishing this cover story in American Angler.

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Photo Journal: Check out a few of our 5,000 photos from the Devil's Gold Project in the Photography section of our website. Below I've listed shot numbers that coordinate with things that I am talking about in this blog entry.

Release Dates: The American Angler article hit the stands on December 28, 2009; and the short film was released on January 1, 2010, at CatchMagazine.net.

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What's with the Name: So where did we come up with Devil's Gold? The village of Oromomo in the tribal language means Devil's Gold. Oromomo is the access village to the Pluma and Itirisama Rivers. Apparently, the elders who named the village felt that riches of the region were somehow cursed. For more details check out the article in American Angler.

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Fishery: We came for Dorado, PERIOD. Ever since I watched an old Larry Dahlberg video on the subject, I haven't been able to get these magnificent fish off my mind. As it turns out, the Tsimane experience completely trumped anything I had previously seen or heard about the Golden Dorado. Not only are these fish NUMEROUS and WILLING, the warm water is clear as can be, which makes for fantastic fishing. I'd estimate that we sight casted to at least 80% of the fish we caught.

I go into greater detail regarding the dispositions of these fish in my article; but suffice it to say, these fish were not shy! While our Dorado ranged anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds, I'm convinced that 40- 50 pound monsters can be found in the deeper holes. I guess time will tell.

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Dorado are not the only game in town; there are tons of Pacu, Yatorana, and random species of Catfish. Ryan hooked into a 100-pound Maturo that punished him for a few minutes before gracefully spitting the hook. If you feel so inclined, feel free to target these species; but, I was more than happy to focus on Dorado. As such, I often passed by the others looking for something GOLD, MEAN, and NASTY.

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Hey one last thing... Watch your step! Just like the Amazon, there are freshwater stingrays in these rivers. Toward the end of the film clip, you'll see Ocho lifting up something he shot from the front of the boat. At first it looks like a Jellyfish, but it's not. Look closer and you will be able to see the large stinger coming out of the back. We never stepped on any, but we saw at least a dozen in the week we were there. Don't freak out... Just shuffle your feet!

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Lodge: So was this an exploratory trip or a lodge-based experience? Tsimane Lodge is actually two sister lodges that sit about ten minutes apart by air on neighboring rivers (The Pluma and Secure). These lodges provide a quintessential "have your cake and eat it too experience." The fishing feels rugged and exploratory; but each evening you'll come back to enjoy fine food, hot water, and even satellite Internet.

We fished and filmed before the construction was completed; but from what we could tell (and have since heard), these excellent structures are fantastic. Expect gourmet cooking with fine wines, Argentine-grade steaks, and fantastic desserts. Don't expect to lose weight while you are there!

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Cool Experiences: One of the most memorable experiences was getting to camp one night along the banks of the Upper Secure River. While the fishing was great and sleeping with the jaguars was, well um, great as well, I will never forget the sight of the Milky Way Galaxy. Never before in my life have I felt so small as I stared into the heavens at 200 billion stars. Check out Image 4 in the Photo Journal. I know it will sound cliche; but I'll say it anyway, the picture really didn't do justice to what I beheld.

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Another memorable experience occurred the second day on the Itirisama River. We were the first Gringos to explore the upper canyon (my friend Joaquin has since gone WAY up and had nothing but rave reviews about it). Anyway, several hours upstream we came into a slower section of river that was chuck full of Pacu. These over-sized relatives of the Piranha took flies recklessly and punished the 8 weights. Somehow the stars aligned just right; and Ryan, myself (Grant), and Joaquin ended up with the Lodge's FIRST Pacu triple. Check out Image 26 in the Photo Journal. We think it might be the first Pacu triple ever recorded in angling history... though it would be hard on the egos if you have information to the contrary, let us know ;-).

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For me the highlight of the trip was the Itirisama. While rivers are dynamic and the Dorado and Sabalo are migratory species, we hit the Itirisama with perfect timing. Aside from the fishing, the river will forever be special to me because we were with the first group to ever explore that particular section of river. To the chagrin of our feet, we walked 4 hours ONE WAY to explore the new section. While we were dehydrated and blistered, the effort was well worth it.

Rest assured the fishery that comprises the standard Tsimane program can be approached in a much more casual way. Anglers can always stay close to the canoes and guides, and death marches are not required.

I guess that has never really been my style.

Finally, in the article I only had enough room to mention dry fly fishing in passing. I cannot stress how cool it was to take these Anabolic Goldfish on top. Somehow their persona changed from psychotic attackers of streamers to discriminate sippers of dries. Honestly, these fish took dries like a seasoned trout on your local river. Check out Image 42; it was one of the biggest fish I have ever taken up top... and yes it was with 40-pound wire. Go figure!

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Stupid Moves: Every trip has a bonehead move. Either I've forgotten my tippet, driven off with the rods on the roof, etc. You've been there, too? So for one reason or another, I completely spaced it in the footwear department. I'd heard that the water was around 80 degrees, so not thinking I packed my Simms Flats Sneakers. Let's just say not the best move on my part. These shoes are built for the flats not for mossy jungle rock. After the first 10 seconds of slipping around and tearing my flats pants on a rock, I knew that a solution was needed. You'll see me in the film screwing in wood screws into the bottom of the shoes (also check out Image 43). This wasn't perfect, but at least it kept me upright. To add insult to injury, a few of the screws were mispositioned; and as I hiked, I ended up penetrating my foot with the dang things. I'm sure glad that I had my tetanus shot before I headed to Bolivia!

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Noel Pollak and the Early Exploration: Since the publication of Devil's Gold, I have come to find out a little more history on the discovery of the fishery. To be clear, I wanted to print this retraction to get the history right and set the story straight.

About three years ago three friends (Noel Pollak, Joaquin Arocena, and Ramiro Badessich) went on an exploratory trip through the Northern part of Argentina, Bolivia, and into Peru. The intent was not to find a new fishery; rather, it was just a classic do-it-yourself adventure. As you can imagine, these guys really got off the beaten path to places that you and I can only dream about. Well as the story goes, the fishing stunk. After a couple of weeks of nothing, their exploratory trip was heading south in a hurry.

It just so happened that Noel, an accomplished Dorado guide, had been fishing in Bolivia for many years prior to his guiding for Dorado at famous Pira Lodge. How he found these rivers in the first place, I still don't know (I'll let you know when I do). Anyway, the fishing was so bad he decided to save the exploratory trip and revealed one of his most guarded secrets. After much inner debate he took his best friends Ramiro and Joaquin to what is now the fishery at Tsimane Lodge.

Noel has since collaborated with outstanding adventure angler Marcelo Perez, Rodrigo Salles, and others at Untamed Angling. These pioneers have jointly built this operation from the ground up. If you want more details you'll have to contact Noel; he knows this story better than I...

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Getting There: This place is remote. It is about 11 days by boat from the closest town. Fortunately, there are two airstrips that were cut in the jungle years ago. Rumor on the street is that these landing strips were cut by drug lords in the 80's who needed a way to get their cocaine out of the jungle. This place is rich in the Coca, and the natives still stuff the plants in their cheeks for "medicinal purposes." Check out Images 14 and 18. The flight into the village of Oromomo was a couple of hours from Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

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Sponsors: Simms Fishing Products, Targus Fly & Feather, Smith Optics, Rio Products, AquaTech, and Cliff Outdoors. These are special companies that not only produce the finest equipment and gear available but also generously support independent filmmakers. Thank you for continued dedication to the sport. Below I've listed my favorite product from the shoot:

Simms: While the most memorable were the flats boots (my bad), I'd have to go with the Superlight shirts and pants as my favorites. Thankfully, there were no mosquitoes; unfortunately, there was a healthy population of No-See-Ums. I found that wearing the long-sleeve shirts and pants were enough to keep me protected. Next time I'm taking a new pair of G4's with Vibram soles and Streamtread! K.C. Walsh and Diane Bristol, thank you! Check out Simmsfishing.com.

Targus: No question the Glimmer Minnow in purple and black was my favorite bug. Check out Image 9 to see a beat up red and black Glimmer Minnow. Wayne Richey, thank you! Check out Targusfly.com.

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Smith Optics: I love the Mavericks especially with the copper lenses. I've worn these glasses from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska. For me the copper lens just seems about perfect regardless of the destination. Peter Crow, thank you! Check out Actionoptics.com.

Rio: We fished the standard bonefish line. I guess I am partial to that line because I took the picture on the box. My bias aside, the floaters worked great. As we were throwing huge bugs in the 4-8 inch range, I over lined my rod with a nine. Make sure to take a few extra lines, as I lost several to misguided territorial Dorado. Simon Gawesworth, thank you! Check out RioProducts.com.

Cliff Outdoors: No question on this one, I loved the Justin Case. As you can imagine, the humidity factor plus the dumb shoe move made things perpetually wet. The Justin Case was the perfect waterproof big bug solution. Matt Cassel, thank you. Check out CliffOutdoors.com.

AquaTech: All underwater still shots from the project were taken with the DV-4 Mark III. During the project, I shot with the Canon 1DS Mark III. I completely trust my camera in this housing, and I love the optics from the LP-3 large-dome port shooting wide with the 14mm f/2.8 II Canon lens. Alan Love, thank you! Check out Aquatech.net.

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When Filmed:
The project was filmed during a "standard week"in August 2009. We were fortunate enough to experience Tsimane Lodge the first week it was open for business.

Chopped and Shot: Grant Wiswell. The same guy who produced Equilibrium, The Last Frontier.

Cameramen and Photographers: Ryan Davis and Grant Wiswell. Also a shout to Joaquin Arocena for grabbing the camera and filming as I hobbled down river after a fish that was way too far into the backing. The fish can be seen in Image 1 in the Photo Journal. Please note that Ryan Davis was the guy that shot many of the images in the print article in American Angler. I appreciate your shooting my ugly mug!


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Soundtrack: We have been extremely fortunate to work with some of the greatest musicians in the business. Nathan DeVore was the Director of Music and works for David Vanacore Productions. This group consistently produces music for the likes of The Apprentice, Survivor, and myriad network and cable programs. It is often said that music accounts for at least 50% of the production value. We couldn't agree more. Equilibrium and Devil's Gold would not have been the same without Nate or David Vanacore. Check out DavidVanacore.com.

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Untamed Angling:
Marcelo Perez, Rodrigo Salles, Joaquine Arocena, Noel Pollak, Ramiro Badessich, Ale, Javier, and others. These outstanding anglers are the best guys you'll ever meet! Please check out their other cutting-edge destinations at UntamedAngling.com. We have enjoyed fishing all across the world, and I can say with confidence that this outstanding group relentlessly searches for the best angling on the planet. From the Seychelles to the tip of Tierra del Fuego to the headwaters of the Amazon, Untamed Angling is discovering the best fishing on earth.

Other Articles, Films, and Resources: We very much enjoyed the article in Field and Stream by Kirk Deeter. Most of the photos from that article were shot by Joaquin (he has quite the eye). Our new friend Henry Gilbey has a very nice photo blog entry on his experiences at Tsimane Lodge. Many of his excellent photographs can be seen over at TsimaneLodge.com. It was great being on location at the same time as he. Want more video of this place? A film known as Kings of the River is coming out soon and looks to be very entertaining.

Thanks: To Russ Hyde for tying some bugs that worked amazingly well. Big nasty flies on sharp Owner hooks, what else could you ask for?

Find out More about Tsimane Lodge:
Shoot Rodrigo Salles an eMail at rodrigo@untamedangling.com. He has more in the way of details, how to book, availability, etc. Rumor has it that 2010 is almost full.

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Contact me with Questions:
I could go on and on about Tsimane Lodge; please don't hesitate to contact me at grant@castawayfilms.com with questions or comments.

Thanks for your interest in Devil's Gold, Tsimane Lodge, Untamed Angling, and Castaway Films!

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